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Grissom celebrates Arbor Day, named Tree City -- again!

Col. Gretchen Wiltse, 434th Mission Support Group commander, speaks during a tree planting ceremony held here April 23, 2021. Grissom planted a cherry tree to celebrate Arbor Day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Douglas Hays)

Col. Gretchen Wiltse, 434th Mission Support Group commander, speaks during a tree planting ceremony held here April 23, 2021. Grissom planted a cherry tree to celebrate Arbor Day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Douglas Hays)

GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- Grissom team members planted a Kwanzan Cherry Tree near the Civil Engineering pond, in honor of environmental conservation, during the annual Grissom Arbor Day ceremony, April 23, 2021.

The Kwanzan Cherry Tree was named after a mountain in Japan and features pink flowers that bloom from April to May.

Trisha McClain, 434th Civil Engineering Squadron biological scientist said cherry trees have been a popular choice for Grissom with the hopes that it will create an environment reminiscent to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., and to aid in the beautification of the park and make it an enjoyable area for base patrons.

The planting is significant because Grissom was also awarded the title, Tree City USA, for the 20th consecutive year.

To be considered a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, four requirements must be met: establish a tree board or department, pass a tree-care ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and observe Arbor Day annually.

McClain explained that there is both environmental and economic payoffs to safeguarding the environment.

“In general, you’re benefiting the wildlife, the air quality and helping to maintain and preserve the aquatic life and habitats,” she said. “And then for the public’s environment, you’re offering natural shading and saving on cooling, and then also providing a more beautiful landscape across the base.”

In addition to the tree planted for Arbor Day, over 150 trees were planted around the installation this spring.

Grissom has also implemented the use of geothermal energy and installed porous cement around the fitness center. Porous cement allows water to pass through to the vegetation below and prevents runoff and erosion.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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Public Affairs Staff

Material contained on the Official Grissom Air Reserve Base Internet Web Site is written and produced by members of the 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office. The award-winning staff includes:



Douglas Hays
Chief, public affairs

Maj. Neil Samson
Public affairs officer

Erica Morgan
Public affairs operations chief

Tech. Sgt. Josh Weaver
NCOIC of public affairs

Tech. Sgt. Rachel Barton
Staff writer

Tech. Sgt. Jami Lancette
Staff writer

Tech. Sgt. Courtney Dotson-Essett
Staff writer

Staff Sgt. Chris Massey
Staff writer

Staff Sgt. Michael Hunsaker
Staff writer

Staff Sgt. Alexa Culbert
Staff writer

Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko
Staff writer

Senior Airman Jeremy Blocker
Staff writer